If you're a member of a megachurch, chances are you are a part of something that's more business than ministry, according to former pastor and author Glenn Newman in his latest book, Pastors Move Over: Make Room for the Rest of Us.
Newman, who founded the Convenant Life Fellowship and Heartland Bible Institute in Texas, argues through scripture and other evidence that the current structure of church government with a single pastor at the helm is unbiblical and robs church members of the right pastoral care.
"Ephesians 4:11, 1 Corinthians 12-14 shows a clear system of all believers ministering to one another and worshiping house to house. The elders were the leadership of that day and servant leaders at that. But they also recognize each other's personal gift of ministry," said Newman in a statement Friday. "In the New Testament church there were no 'CEO' type leaders and in fact there were multiple pastors within the flock, ministering and nurturing those that needed it," he added.
Newman's book, according to a media release, attributes the origins of the senior pastor model to the Constantinian era in the fourth century and notes that it was later adopted as a part of the Roman Catholic tradition. The Protestant movement simply retained the model as their method of church government.
"Therefore we have been conducting our church services incorrectly since the fourth century. In fact with the single pastor model, you have one man doing all the ministering and everyone else is a mere spectator," said Newman.
"This has created a passive, uninvolved congregation that in many respects are spiritually immature due to this dependency on the professional clergy to do what they should be doing themselves," added Newman.
Newman highlighted in an interview with The Christian Post on Tuesday that the CEO-type approach to church government was of particular concern in megachurches where church members can easily be forgotten.
"The pastor in that church (megachurch) isn't really pastoring anybody. What the people are doing is they are watching a show on the stage. When there is no service, behind the scenes the pastor is running the church like a business and his assistant pastors are like middle managers," said Newman. "I believe that the elders should be leading the church. Not people who sit on a church board but spiritual leaders and we have forgotten that the elders are the spiritual leaders," he added.
Newman noted that scriptural evidence shows that in each local church all Christians had gifts for ministry regardless of seminary training. "For many centuries the church has been run either like a monarchy or in the modern Protestant churches like a business," he notes.
He hopes that people will gain more insights on true church government in his book.